Geographic Dictiona...
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Geographic Dictionary of the USVI

Posts: 988
Prominent Member
Topic starter

Thought some of you might enjoy reading this fascinating online resource: The Geographic Dictionary for the USVI

It was originally published in 1925 by the US Coastal & Geodetic Survey and gives the origins and variants for hundreds of locations on all three islands. Now long out of print but archived online! God Bless the USGS for scanning it and making it available

I was trying to find out why they call it "Ham's Bluff" here on St. Croix, --and thought it might be named after somebody. But the Geographic Dictionary told me that it was originally called "Cabo del Diablo" ....."The Devils Cape" by the Spanish and the French, which is much more romantic and scary than "Ham". ("Ham" in Dutch and Old English = shinbone, which would seem to refer to the shape of the bluff/ridge).

I also want to post this here so that the link and doc can be found via search engines by those who are not part of this board. Google has been cataloging the vimovingcenter message board (so be careful what you post). I recently came across a post here from 2004 and I don't know how far back Google's cache of this site goes.


My thanks to retired NPS historian Wm Cissel for alerting me to the existence of this book. Google couldn't find it at the USGS website, but their own internal search engine popped it right up.


For the searchbots:

Origin of Names, Places, Locations, St. John, St. Thomas, St Croix, US Virgin Islands, Geographic Dictionary of The United States Virgin Islands. US Coastal and Geodetic Survey, James W. McGuire, 1925.

Since the vimoving board doesn't show the complete URL, here it is, with spaces so it doesn't truncate.
(if copying, remove the spaces to make it work again)

http : // docs. lib. noaa. gov /rescue /cgs_specpubs /QB275U35 no1031925 .pdf

Posted : June 15, 2010 2:44 pm
Posts: 2104
Noble Member

thanks, this is great.

Posted : June 15, 2010 4:20 pm
Posts: 25
Eminent Member

Thank you Neil for the web address. I don't even live on the island as of yet, but I have enjoyed reading this publication already. The myriad of information available is amazing.

Posted : June 15, 2010 4:33 pm
Posts: 85
Trusted Member

I found the dictionary to be very interesting.

Thanks for sharing.


Posted : June 15, 2010 4:49 pm
Posts: 184
Estimable Member

SEARCH ENGINES are wonderful and scary at the same time. We should all be careful when believing and quoting sources on the Internet.

On several occasions I have been led to 'my own post' from here and elsewhere when doing an Internet search. While I might have been correct, there is no reason to think that all things we read are true and accurate.

Posted : June 16, 2010 1:12 am
Posts: 470
Reputable Member

Very cool Neil... thanks.

In my neighborhood, they refer to a G.P. "Sight". So, there is a Geographical Position called "Sight". I think that means that there is a survey marker/plaque that has been named "Sight". I did a quick Google search for Geographical Positions on St Croix, USVI but did not find anything. I know, from working on other Islands (Channel islands off the coast of California) that there are lists of these markers by name and lat/lon location. Does anyone know where to find the list of markers for STX?

Posted : June 17, 2010 12:55 pm
Posts: 694
Honorable Member

Fantastic--this is just wonderful.


Posted : June 17, 2010 2:43 pm
Posts: 102
Estimable Member

Very nice resource. Thanks.

Posted : June 18, 2010 3:32 pm
Posts: 2919
Famed Member I don't feel special anymore. M

Posted : June 18, 2010 5:47 pm
Posts: 988
Prominent Member
Topic starter I don't feel special anymore. M

You're still special, believe me.
And thanks for printing the doc fo rme. It's a nice browser.

Posted : June 20, 2010 1:18 am
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